Asked to step down after passing probezeit for CULTURE FIT

37 posts in this topic

Today my boss told me I need to step down from my role at my company. He didn't quite fire me, but made it clear I could not stay in my role. 

 

He said the reason was culture fit & that although I work really hard and get good results, he doesn't want me to keep going. Remember, the reason for it is culture fit despite already passing probezeit & getting good results/achieving targets, and working really hard.

 

He said technically I can stay, but I can't do my main role/title anymore, even tho the function will still exist and would be filled by someone else. He said because he doesn't think I would then want to stay, he would give me 3 months or so to find a new job (sounded like putting me on garden leave) before ending my contract.  

 

Is this even legal?

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It's very odd that it took them so long to figure this out (beyond your probationary period), but your employment contract probably states that you can be assigned other commensurate duties at management discretion.

 

You need to talk with your works council and/or HR department. Now would be an excellent time to get legal insurance, too, if you don't have it already.

 

If they really want to get rid of you, they'll find a way.

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Just checked, this is how it defines my roles duties as: 

 

The Employer agrees to employ the Employee as a [OMITTING TITLE FOR ANONYMITY] and the Employee agrees to be employed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement.

 

The Employee shall carry out any and all lawful and legitimate duties assigned by the Employer. Such duties may include, but are not limited to, duties performed by one in such a position, employed by a business or organization similar to that of the Employer.

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Another angle perhaps...

 

without knowing what the 'problem' is...

 

You could try appealing to his sense of leadership and experience:

- What measure can I take to improve?

- Could you provide me with specific areas of improvement?

- Could you help me to re-define my culture fit?

 

stroke his ego a little... dudes love that.

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It might be too late for that, tor. ExPattheDog's boss might be worried that his own job is at stake, given EPtD's abilities and performance.

 

Is your company large enough that you could be assigned to a different team, @ExPattheDog?

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4 minutes ago, tor said:

Another angle perhaps...

 

without knowing what the 'problem' is...

 

You could try appealing to his sense of leadership and experience:

- What measure can I take to improve?

- Could you provide me with specific areas of improvement?

- Could you help me to re-define my culture fit?

 

stroke his ego a little... dudes love that.

 

 

Two things here:

- He says I'm doing a great job, and I am from an objectives/KPIs standpoint, reaching my targets. It's not about improvement on quality of work - that's there - but about culture fit. The details are below. Please note this wasn't provided as feedback to action & improve on, but cause for ending my responsibility in an area of the business (my title). Also note, despite the two points below, overwhelmingly I get great feedback from the team. In our last feedback round my average was 8/10, which was on par with/above average for the rest of the team. In other words, even in our KPIs measuring collaboration I score well.

 

He said he received 2 negative points of feedback about me from the team (please note: I've received other significant positive feedback, as well). The first was from a colleague was the 4th or so to join the company (years before I did), who said she finds it difficult to collaborate with me (though unsubstantiated).  The second was a direct report of mine who asked to join a new team because he feels he can get more help from another manager. Unfortunately, this wasn't brought to me directly, or I would have swiftly acted to provide whatever missing help the report felt he needed. 

 

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2 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

It might be too late for that, tor. ExPattheDog's boss might be worried that his own job is at stake, given EPtD's abilities and performance.

 

Is your company large enough that you could be assigned to a different team, @ExPattheDog?

 

I would love to be so flattered, but I'm sure there's a hint of sarcasm here haha even though by all metrics I'm successful in my role, I don't think I threaten him in that regard.  However,  I do think I make another early employee (first 4) feel threatened, so it could be related (she has fewer years of experience, but we have an overlapping skillset)

 

Unfortunately the company is less than 30 people and my title is (was) [Department] Lead,  so there's no similar position I could go into. 

 

 

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sorry, I should have added 'culture fit' to my first two questions...

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1 minute ago, ExPattheDog said:

I'm sure there's a hint of sarcasm here

No, I was being completely sincere, based on the information you provided about your positive reviews.

 

 

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Just now, tor said:

sorry, I should have added 'culture fit' to my first two questions...

he's not giving me a chance to action/improve, rather he said its not up for negotiation - note: he wasn't angry when he said this, it wasn't following a performance f*ck up. He just decided he doesn't see me in the role anymore, but thinks I have a great skillset. We're an early stage company, and he said he thinks I'm too professional for the team sometimes.

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Just now, ExPattheDog said:

he's not giving me a chance to action/improve, rather he said its not up for negotiation - note: he wasn't angry when he said this, it wasn't following a performance f*ck up. He just decided he doesn't see me in the role anymore, but thinks I have a great skillset. We're an early stage company, and he said he thinks I'm too professional for the team sometimes.

 

1 minute ago, El Jeffo said:

No, I was being completely sincere, based on the information you provided about your positive reviews.

 

 

 

El Jeffo, you may be right here

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3 minutes ago, ExPattheDog said:

 

 

El Jeffo, you may be right here

 

The Jeff is always right :}

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If you are not getting the chance to change things, then I think you have to accept that you time is up at that company.

 

Now it is up to you how you play it from here.  You could make them an offer to leave ASAP for xxx.  Or take their offer to spend 3 months looking for another job and then leave.

 

 

Whatever you do, don't resign.  This will affect you if you will become unemployed and need unemployment benefit.  You need to make them fire you!  And you might need a lawyer.  The advice about lawyer insurance is good, but will be too late for this case.

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Just now, dj_jay_smith said:

If you are not getting the chance to change things, then I think you have to accept that you time is up at that company.

 

Now it is up to you how you play it from here.  You could make them an offer to leave ASAP for xxx.  Or take their offer to spend 3 months looking for another job and then leave.

 

 

Whatever you do, don't resign.  This will affect you if you will become unemployed and need unemployment benefit.  You need to make them fire you!  And you might need a lawyer.  The advice about lawyer insurance is good, but will be too late for this case.

 

But is it legal to fire me for supposed culture fit? it's not like I don't get along with people at the company

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No, it's not legal to fire you **from an unlimited contract** for "culture fit".

No, it's not legal to try and make you resign for *any reason*.

 

Basically, the boss is trying to save money and legal effort at your expense, as in bullying you into resigning. This will cause you to be banned from unemployment benefits for three months! He's pulling a fast one on you!

 

Germany has pretty good employment laws, and I greatly urge you to immediately consult a lawyer ("Fachanwalt für Arbeitsrecht"). It will cost you about 200 Euros, and will be worth every cent.

DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING AT YOUR JOB.

Take any and all papers to the lawyer!

 

And let us know how it went. Foreigners get cheated this way a lot.

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18 minutes ago, ExPattheDog said:

But is it legal to fire me for supposed culture fit?

No.

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Anyway, the way you describe yourself and your capabilities, it shouldn't be too hard to get a new job, right? Just move on.

 

Or do you see a problem getting a new job? 

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Just now, franklan said:

Anyway, the way you describe yourself and your capabilities, it shouldn't be too hard to get a new job, right? Just move on.

 

Or do you see a problem getting a new job? 

 

Yes, of course. With my role, as an English speaker in Germany, the job market is quite challenging. It sucks no matter what!  Especially since it doesn't seem legal or moral

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Summing up:

1. Tie the boss/Supervisor down a lot more specifically on what he /she means by "culture fit".

2. See your works council representative immediately!

3. Get legal insurance immediately if you don't already have it!

4. Whether you have legal insurance or not, get a specialist lawyer for employment law immediately!

Good luck.

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